So, my plans to make a video once a week in 2015 was a total bust. That being said, I will explain that I shifted my focus to photography and even completed a 30 Day Challenge. I did shoot some video during the summer, though it was only GoPro footage. That being from about two days of the nearly every weekend we spent going to the beach. The nature of shooting with a GoPro is that you tend to only shooting action types of things so there is very little B-roll and nothing with any good quality sound. This makes the video more of a compilation than a vlog which was my intent in creating more videos.
Shooting on a prime lens offers some technical benefits but I believe the creative benefits to be most important. Put simply I feel that restrictions foster creativity. When I don't know what to go out and photograph I try to give myself a particular assignment. Such as, capture bicycles or interesting plays of light. Using a prime lens is just as much of a limitation but opposed to subject matter it is a technical limitation. So, rather than changing what is being shot, a prime lens changes how you shoot. To be explicit, a prime lens is a fixed focal length (I shoot on a 40mm prime). As such, going out with a prime is also a creative limitation and forces you to think about the characteristics of that focal length.
This is a short series of images to capture my experience throughout this summer. I was finally able to get some surfing in and it was fantastic. Though, it remains the most difficult sport I've tried. I will dive further into what went into creating the series in a future blog post.
As all of our creative work lives on a computer which can fail we need some peace of mind. One way to do that is to have multiple copies of everything. When a catalog of images and video grows that can be difficult to maintain though. Cloud storage is a very inexpensive solution now that it has been around for a while. I tend to keep my current year's photography on two physical devices. My computer where I import all my photos and then I back that up to an external hard drive. This however means geographically this two pieces of hardware are always next to each other. So for added peace of mind and redundancy I decided to search for an off-site back-up solution. I tried out the popular cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox but those quite simple could not keep up. Here is why they failed in my opinion and why I ended up choosing Backblaze as my go to solution.
Every Friday at Spies & Assassins someone leads a learning session we call Spies Junction. This can be on any wide array of topics from sketching storyboards to lock picking. I mean we have to live up to our name from time to time! My contribution so far has been a course on photography.
I led a primer on a full photography workflow, Photography 101. Just enough to get someone started setting up the camera and exposing images themselves. Then once they have their image the ability to edit and share the image. How I went about doing live demos is explained further below.
So a 30 day challenge took me 49 days to actually complete. This turned into less of take a photo every single day. It evolved into create a body of work that I am proud of; 30 rock solid images (I speak more about why I'm ok with this here). This was one of the best things I've done for my photography yet. Read more
So I have looked for and tested out a few apps for geotagging photos. I liked the capability of some but I already use an app to track my walks, runs and bike rides. So, why introduce another app? Often these apps will also need a companion app on your computer to actually connect the GPS data to any images taken. If the app you use for fitness tracking has GPS capabilities and the ability to download a .gpx file then that is all you need. I personally use Strava which allows me to download a .gpx file through their website. The downside of a fitness app is they typically use more battery on your phone because the location information is more accurate. Most dedicated geotagging apps ping your location at set intervals (i.e. every 30 seconds) to reduce battery usage.
I'm very excited to announce that my new site is live. Full redesigned to be simple and showcase my photographic work. I did have some help though. A big shout out to Bryan Moreno who worked on the identity and logo. Chase Farnum also helped me find the necessary tools to make this site which is built on WordPress look wonderful! As you are already here I won't say much more. Enjoy!
So I've made it beyond the halfway point of my 30 day challenge but have not been shooting every single day. I was out everyday for the first 10 days but did not walk away with keeper images from each day. If undertaking a similar challenge yourself do not let this be discouraging. There is always value in getting out and going through the process of capturing images and practicing the craft. Also, whenever life always takes precedence over taking images so when opportunities to be with friends and family arise take them. I rode my bike a bunch in the past three weeks and was able to take some decent photos along the way with my phone. Even when using an iPhone go through the same photographic process of working a shot and great images can still be made.